ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Keep it here for some updates as we head through the never-predicted World Series between the Rays and Phillies. Tonight is Game One with Scott Kazmir opposing Cole Hamels in a great battle of lefties.
So FOX just signed on and you think the place is rockin like crazy, right? Nope. They told everyone to make noise on the scoreboard and over the PA to greet the TV audience. Lots of places do it to try to fool you. Pretty campy.
Here's tonight's lineups:
Rollins, ss Iwamura, 2b
Werth, rf Upton, cf
Utley, 2b Pena, 1b
Howard, 1b Longoria, 3b
Burrell, lf Crawford, lf
Victorino, cf Aybar, dh
Feliz, 3b Navarro, c
Coste, dh Zobrist, rf
Ruiz, c Bartlett, ss
It's over: A big 3-2 win for the Phils as Brad Lidge closes it out. Sorry for the disappearance. Gotta write the story for the paper too. We'll try to do a better balancing act tomorrow in Game Two.
7th-inning stretch: Phils lead stays at 3-2 as Grant Balfour comes in to strike out Victorino to leave runners at the corners. Phils have stranded nine and are 0-11 RSP. Kazmir needed 110 pitches (77 strikes) to get through six: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K.
End-5th: Here come the Rays. Iwamura cracked a two-out, full-count pitch, left, for an RBI double to left-center to score Bartlett (walk, SB) and make it 3-2. Iwamura is 3 for 3 in this one. Hamels has seemed in control and the Phillies have had guys on base all night but they're only up by a run. Clearly should be more. Nice grab by Howard over the fans on Upton's foul pop. As good as Iwamura has been, Upton has been a disaster (2 DPs, foul pop).
Mid-5th: Halfway home and the Phillies have to be nervous about all their missed scoring chances. They've left six on (two more in this inning) and are 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. And I completely protest the on-field race. Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Sierra Mist? OK, so they got me to mention the names. But come on. We have sausages in Milwaukee, pierogis in Pittsburgh, hot dog races all over. A pop race? Stupid.
End-4th: The Phillies lead 3-1 as they went ahead in the top of the inning on Ruiz's RBI groundout but Tampa Bay got that run back on Crawford's solo homer to right. Nice job by Coste for the Phils getting the runners over on a grounder to first after the first two batters singled. As for Crawford, it's probably appropriate he scores the first Rays run in World Series play. He's been here the longest.
End-3rd: The Phils maintain their 2-0 lead but it nearly went away. Tampa Bay loaded the bases on Hamels but Upton hit into his second DP in two at-bats, this one on a scorcher neatly grabbed by Feliz at third. Enough to make '93 Phils alum Dave Hollins proud. Be sure to read about my chat with Hollins in Thursday's paper.
Mid-3rd: Kazmir keeps wriggling out of jams and the Rays are still only down by two. Wonder if the Phillies will regret their early troubles with RSP as they're 0-5 in the first three innings. Werth led off with a double and was left at third as Howard was nailed on appeal via a dubious check-swing call by 3B ump Tom Hallion and Burrell went down swinging. By the way, I HATE the way the Rays are introduced on the jumbotron. The key players are shown in a 2K Sports video game image swinging at the plate; nice ad buy for them but show me the guy's face. Yeeesh.
Mid-2nd: The Rays pull off a great escape as the Phillies load the bases with one out but don't score. Upton made the key play, gunning down Victorino at the plate on Rollins' shallow fly to center. Beautiful one-hop throw and quick tag by Navarro. Huge opportunity lost for the Phils. By the way, old friend Chris Coste's first Series at-bat ended in a shallow fly to right for the first out, leaving men at first and second. It's still 2-0 for Philly and Kazmir is struggling. Already 40 pitches in two innings.
Top-1st: We're finally under way at 8:38 p.m. (FOX stinks. And that won't be my last anti-FOX rant either. Fair warning). Scott Kazmir fired a called strike to Jimmy Rollins as flashbulbs popped everywhere to record a first-pitch moment no one in this town -- or anywhere in baseball -- probably thought they'd ever see. No way Rollins could have swung with all the flashes. The Phillies take a quick 2-0 lead as Chase Utley, left, belts a two-run homer to right on a low 2-2 fastball to score Werth, who walked. Just the second homer by a lefty against Kazmir all season (David Ortiz had the other).
Pregame: Believe it or not, they just ran a video on the jumbotron explaining the best times for a fan to ring their cowbells. Runner on base, two strikes on a Phillies batter, etc. Jeez. Can we just let fans cheer and make noise when they want to?
(Photos: Associated Press)